The Irish government has decided to tax online gambling operators a further 1% for providing their services within Ireland. This tax was recently confirmed following a proposal published by the Finance Minister of Ireland, Michael Noonan.
Noonan published the proposal in the amendment of the Betting Bill 2012. Aside from the additional 1% tax that the government will be imposing, the bill also states that internet gambling exchanges, such as Betfair, will be taxed 15% on their gross profit.
Noonan believes that this bill will lead to an equitable and a fair regulatory and license system for all gambling operators and bookmakers. He also said that because gambling operators who run their operations offshore are not charged a betting levy then there is no equal playing field between rival operators. Offshore companies immediately have an advantage over operators which are located within Ireland who have to pay the levy; the idea of the new tax is to create a fair environment for all operators to work in.
The final proposal of the new bill is to allow betting shops to operate until 10pm everyday instead of the current law which forces them to close at 6pm.
Many people believe that the law should go further and create transparent regulation of the Irish gambling market. According to a report produced by economic consultants DKM online and land-based casinos in Ireland could create 13,000 new jobs and deliver €280 million a year to the exchequer if a properly regulated market was created.
It is thought that the Full Tilt Poker fiasco could have been avoided if there was clear regulation backed by adequate enforcement. Because of the clear potential for growth there is now more and more pressure on the Irish government to create a regulated market.